Icthys Browse Basin gas project given green light
The Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke has approved Inpex's Ichthys Browse Basin project, including a gas field facility, pipeline and processing facility, under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act 1999, subject to environmental conditions
Inpex Browse proposes to develop the Ichthys Gas Field in the Browse Basin off the North West Shelf of Australia to produce liquefied natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas and condensate.
The proposal includes offshore processing in the Browse Basin, an 850-935 kilometre pipeline from the gas field to Darwin Harbour and an onshore processing facility at Blaydin Point, Darwin.
The Ichthys Project is a joint venture between INPEX Browse Ltd (76%,) and Total E&P Australia (24%). The project was assessed under the EPBC Act by an Environmental Impact Statement in conjunction with the Northern Territory Government.
To meet the environmental conditions, Inpex will be required to submit a series of management plans.
Inpex must develop a greenhouse gas management strategy outlining the measures and offsets it proposes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions before production can commence.
The company must put in place measures to minimise waste and noise impacts, including noise generated from pile driving and blasting.
There will be conditions imposed on the dredging and spoil disposal to ensure it is managed to world's best practice to protect marine life, including dolphins, dugongs and turtles.
With the help of an expert panel, the company must develop and implement a rigorous management plan including measures to prevent, detect and respond to impacts on marine life, and to allow dredging methods and mitigation measures to be changed to adapt to new information.
Inpex will be required to permanently protect and manage around 2,000 hectares of vegetation, as well as marine habitat for inshore dolphins, marine turtles and dugongs.
Inpex has committed to invest $24 million for Indigenous groups to manage marine mammals and reptiles.
The company must also map habitat in the Darwin Harbour region, establish a monitoring and research program for the harbour and research of coastal dolphin populations and provide funding to Australian Research Council Linkage projects.
Inpex has announced it is confident of selling the entire 8.4 million tonnes per annum of LNG from the Ichthys Project, having reached agreements with Chubu Electric Power Co., Inc. on LNG sales of 0.49 million tonnes per annum, with Toho Gas Co.,Ltd. on LNG sales of 0.28 million tones per annum and with CPC Corporation, Taiwan on LNG sales of 1.75 million tonnes per annum, from the Ichthys Project over 15 years commencing in 2017.
INPEX and a TOTAL affiliate will also take a total of 1.8 million tonnes per annum of LNG from the Ichthys Project, and negotiations are being finalised with five major Japanese utility companies.
The approval conditions are available here.